A dawn-to-dusk electric field in the Jovian magnetosphere

C. K. Goertz, W. H. Ip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We show that if Io-injected plasma is lost via a planetary wind a sun-fixed Birkeland current system may result. This is due to the fact that a current flows across a density gradient produced by the loss of plasma through the planetary wind in the tail. The divergent current is connected to field-aligned Birkeland currents which flow into the ionosphere at dawn and out of it at dusk. The closure currents in the ionosphere require a dawn-to-dusk electric field which at the orbit of Io is estimated to have a strength of a few mV m-1. Independent estimates derived from the local time asymmetry of the torus u.v. emission indicate a field of 1.5mVm-1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-185
Number of pages7
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1984


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